skin flora


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skin flora

population of pathogenic and innocuous microorganisms (MOs) normally living on skin, and within mouth, respiratory tract and large intestine
  • resident skin flora MOs permanent to the individual's skin; not easily removed by normal clinical skin preparation techniques; may include resistant strains in carrier individuals, e.g. meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)

  • transient skin flora non-resident MOs attached to fatty mantle, colonizing skin folds and creases, e.g. nail sulci, interdigital areas; relatively easily removed by standard skin preparation techniques (see Table 1)

Table 1: Preoperative clinical preparation
Preparation areaAction
Patient's feetIMS, or
0.5% chlorhexidine in
70% isopropyl alcohol, or
7.5% w/w povidone iodine in IMS
1. Thorough spray of solution on all aspects of both feet, swabbed off vigorously with gauze
2. Thorough spray of solution on all aspects of both feet, and left in situ to evaporate to dry for 5 minutes
ClinicianHandwashThorough handwash of all aspects of both hands using soap or chlorhexidine hand scrub or 7.5% w/w povidone-iodine and running water, for a minimum of 1 minute; dry with paper towel
Protective clothingClean short-sleeved overall or scrub suit
Fresh plastic apron and disposable gloves for each patient
Facemask and eye protection as necessary
Cover all cuts or abrasions with Band-Aid or similar
Reusable instrumentsWash off any gross contamination under running water; dry
Process instruments through benchtop dish washer
Process instruments through autoclave, and wrap for storage
Autoclaved instruments should be reprocessed even if unused 3 hours after being removed from autoclave, unless they were vacuum-autoclaved in sealed pouches
Static equipmentDamp dust all equipment surfaces, moving from high to low, at start of each clinical session
Alcohol-wipe all clinical surfaces between patients
Sweep or vacuum floor between patients
Wash floor thoroughly at least once a day
Clinical waste disposalContractual arrangement with waste disposal agency for removal and incineration of yellow bags and sharpsClean any spilt biological fluids with hypochlorite solution
Clinical waste into yellow bags
Sharps disposed into tamper-proof containers
Maintain waste disposal records
OthersClinician should use alcohol hand rub during the treatment period when control of infection (hands) protocol might have been compromised (e.g. after handling clinical notes or the telephone)
Maintain a log of autoclave use and cleaning programmes
Annual autoclave calibration check and certification
Regular update of clinician personal vaccination programme

IMS, industrial methylated spirit.

References in periodicals archive ?
One goal of this study was to obtain a baseline for what could be considered physiologic bacterial skin flora in companion psittacine birds.
NECROTIZING FASCIITIS: A flesh-eating bacteria usually caused by naturally occurring skin flora.
Exploration of the microbial anatomy of normal human skin by using plasmid profiles of coagulase-negative staphylococci: search for the reservoir pf resident skin flora.
Of the 15% (n=18) of samples demonstrating growth, organisms isolated were typical skin flora (Kocuria kristinae, and multiple coagulase negative Staphyloccus species including S.
An important point to remember when deciding to prescribe antibiotics is that, unlike other cutaneous abscesses, the causative organisms are enteric flora and not skin flora.
Minimal Inhibitory Concentrations (MIC) were done using thieves oil against normal skin flora and E.
Microbiology was designated on the #2 tube with the idea that if there were skin flora it would dilute out.
Blood cultures taken day 9 post-op grew coagulase negative staphylococci with a wound swab taken day 12 post-op revealing mixed coliforms and skin flora.
In this case, due to various reasons, there was a delay in finalizing the latest wound culture beyond 3 days, which was laboratory policy for wound cultures that were not producing any pathogenic growth or appeared to be contaminated with just skin flora.
The majority of infections appear within the first six months postoperatively and likely result from direct inoculation of shunt components by nonpathogenic skin flora at the time of surgery.
Skin flora, including diphtheroids, [alpha]-hemolytic streptococci, and coagulase-negative staphylococci, were the most common microorganisms found on 84 randomly tested stethoscopes from house staff, medical students, and attending physicians at Grady Memorial and Emory Crawford Long Hospitals, Atlanta.
Interestingly, the strain of staph that the second person had was different from that of the first patient, and it is possible that the source of infection for the second patient was his own skin flora.